Science Says: Spending Time with Mamaw and Papaw Is Good for Kids' Development
We didn't need a study to tell us, but it's a comfort to know: Racking up quality time with the grandparents is good for your kids.
A recent study, published in the December 2017 journal Child Development, determined that children who spend quality time with Mamaw and Papaw are less likely to show prejudice towards and discriminate against the elderly. The study, entitled "Impact of Contact With Grandparents on Children's and Adolescents' Views on the Elderly" looked at 1,151 children in Belgium between the ages of 7 and 16.
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"We asked children to describe how they felt about seeing their grandparents. Those who felt unhappy were designated as having poor quality of contact. When it came to ageist views, we found that quality of contact mattered much more than frequency," said Allison Flamion, a PhD student in psychology and the research team's leader at the University of Liege, in a press release.
Not surprisingly, the health status of grandparents' contributed to the children's ageism, or lack thereof: Children studied with grandparents in poor health were more likely to hold ageist views than those with grandparents who enjoyed better health. For those kids growing up without grandparents, we're postulating that a close senior family friend in good health can instill healthier perception regarding the elderly in the young individual.
Well, we guess we can add this to the pile of evidence to support Mamaw's refigerator magnet: "Grandparents are the best kind of grownups."